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It was 1969 when those of us in­ terested in the future of general aviation were watching the progress of a new aviation bill working its way through

Congress . We were involved

writing , telephoning and appearing as witnesses at various congressional hearings at the stale and federal level. This new legislation was designed to generate the fund to build, equip and maintain the airports and airways as set forth in the new FAA Master Plan .

This new Airport and Airways bill was

in letter

to be the answer by establishing user

taxes. These taxes would accomplish the goal of completely updating and re­ building our entire airport and airway system according to the Master Plan . The money to pay for this multi-billion

dollar program was to come from taxes levied on avgas, jet fuel , aircraft tires and tubes, airline tickets, air freight shipments, international airport tax , and

a tax on civil aircraft . We

member when we paid a tax on our airplanes of $25 .00 plus 2 cents per

pound over 2500 Ibs. gross weight, and


In other words, if we used the air space and/or the airway facilities, we as users would pay the bill. Evidently enough of us agreed to the Federal Use Tax, and the legislation which was to be all things to all aviation became law under the Airport and Airways Develop­

ment Act of 1970. The second bill to levy the taxes was passed shortly thereafter and the new taxes as established by the law were to be placed in a trust fund with the official name of Airport and Airways Trust Fund. We all agreed this was a big step in the right direction . Now we would have the billions of dollars necessary to modernize our airway system and to im­ prove and build additional airports . I am sure you noticed I used the word billion as it seems whenever we talk about government projects, we hear the dol­ lars always expressed in billions. Before I go any further, let me give you Harry B. Shaffer's description of a billion dollars, "One billion - one thousand million dollars - is an amount of money so large that it simply stag­ gers the imagination . Let me illustrate . Suppose you had been born on the day Christ was born, that you were still alive today, and you had been able to save

at the fantastic a rate of 1 cent for every

second that you lived, that is 60 cents

$36 .00 for every hour,

or $864 .00 for every day of your life dur­

can all re­

lasted for ten years .

for every minute,


lasted for ten years . for every minute, 2 NOVEMBER 1986 by Bob Lickteig ing these

by Bob Lickteig

ing these past 2000 years. At that rate it would take you another thousand years to save one billion dollars. Another example - one billion one dollar bills (placed end-to-end) would circle the earth four times at the equator." For the government fiscal year of 1971, the tax money began to roll in and our hopes ran high. This short con­ densed report covers the first 15 years of our trust fund use. Now I must admit that 15 years is a long time and the intent and the best interest of Congress always changes when the bureaucrats within any gov­ ernment agency interpret the law their way. The past few years we have read and heard so much about the FAA raid­

ing the trust fund for their operation, and raids they are. Congress, which wrote the law, imposed the taxes, and created

trust fund , looked upon the act as a

vehicle for securing a level of capital investment in airport and airway facilities far greater than could be sec­ ured through general taxation . An impartial review of the history of the act makes clear that the primary ob­ jective was capital development and that the allowance for covering any FAA operational costs was conditional upon first meeting the capital investment re­ quirements, and the existence of any surplus of money after that had been done . So, if you don 't spend it , you have it for your own use . In the period from 1971 to 1985, ap­ proximately $22 billion plus interest had been generated for the fund . During those 15 years, the FAA used $8 billion plus for operation and maintenance and $1 .5 billion for research and engineer­ ing at their discretion . So far the FAA has used approximately 40% of all user taxes for their own operation and


maintenance plus their pet engineering

project. Not bad for openers . Now we

have approximately $13 billion left to build airports - well not exactly. Again

the FAA used $3 .5 billion of the trust funds for "Facilities and Equipment." Now we come to the category,

"Grants In Aid for Airports ." This is what the new law and the trust fund was enacted and established for. During the past 15 years, $6 billion has been spent. Sounds great - but wait - the for­ mula for "Grants In Aid For Airports" is set at 50% for airline terminals based

number of enplaned passengers ,

whether airports need the money or not. Now did you ever see an airport com­ mission that wouldn't take it? At this point, you can now see that over the last 15 years , general aviation has re­ ceived approximately $3 billion in fed­ eral grants from the trust fund. One item I must not overlook. During these 15 years, our trust fund has re ­ ceived $4 .2 billion in interest earned . This means that general aviation did not receive as much as the interest the trust fund received . One research company summed it up

- the losers were those who paid the

users taxes and didn't get what they were promised for accepting the addi­ tional tax burden. I know my billions didn't add up. That's because the trust fund received transfers in the early days from the gen­ eral fund in the amount of $1.5 billion . So where do we go from here? The 1987 FAA proposed budget is again planning to spend the trust fund money for their own operations plus other pro­ jects. Their proposed budget calls for $2.1 billion of the trust fund to be used . They are blaming this on the Gramm­ Rudman-Hollings law. Admiral Engen, the FAA adminis­ trator, has said many times the lack of concrete is fast becoming the number one constraint on air commerce . If we need concrete, and indeed we do, the airport and airways trust fund as of June 30, 1986 has a balance of $8.4 billion . This means we could encircle the earth 34 times with dollar bills. It seems to me this would buy a lot of concrete . My thanks to EAA Washington repre­ sentative David H. Scott, the National Business Aircraft Association, AOPA and the General Aviation Manufactur­ ers Association for their assistance in the preparation of this editorial. Welcome aboard - join us and you have it all!.

on the






Tom Poberezny





EDITOR Gene R. Chase


NOVEMBER 1986. Vol. 14, No. 11




Copyright ' 1986 by the EAA Antique/Classic Division. Inc. All rights reserved .







Norman Petersen


Dick Cavin



Straight and Level


FEATURE WRITERS George A. Hardie, Jr. Dennis Parks


by Bob Lickteig



AlC News


by Gene Chase



Book Reviews


by Gene Chase





Vintage Literature

by Dennis Parks


"MISS CHAMPION" - Pitcairn-Cierva Autogiro

Page 6




Preside nt

Vice President

by Gene Chase



J. Lickteig

M.C. " Kelly" Viets Rt. 2, Box 128 Lyndon, KS 66451



Mystery Plane

3tOO Pruitt Rd .


by George A. Hardie, Jr.

Port St. Lucie. FL




Restoration Corner - Assembly and Rigging

by Gene Morris

305/335-705 t



Secretary Ronald Fritz t 540t Sparta Avenue Kent City. MI49330





Clip Wing Cub


E.E. " Buck"



by Norm Petersen

P.O. Box




A Tour Through the Continental Motors Plant

by E. E. "Buck" Hilbert

Welcome New Members

Union, IL60180





Type Club Activities


Page 16




by Gene Chase

  DIRECTORS     by Gene Chase


Travel Air

John S. Copeland 9 Joanne Drive Westborough , MA 01581

Stan Gomoll 1042 90th Lane, NE Minneapolis , MN 55434


by Gene Chase



New Products


by Gene Chase






Letters to the Editor

Dale A. Gustafson

Esple M. Joyce, Jr. Box 468 Madison , NC 27025


Calendar of Events


Shady Hill Drive


Vintage Seaplanes

Indianapolis , IN 46278


by Norm Petersen





Arthur R. Morgan

Gene Morris



the poli shed spinn ers and ch rome valve



51 st Blvd .


FRONT COVER cove rs spark ling

In the morning sunshine . father and son team of

Page 22

Mi lwauk ee . WI 53216

115C Steve Court , R. R. 2 Roanoke , TX 76262

Henry and Chuck Geissler (EAA 86004 . NC 4179) lorm up on the EAA photo plane over Lake Winnebago during Oshkosh '86 . This Reed Clip Wing Cub. N2039M . SIN 20807. was totally rebuilt during the past three years by th iS father and son combination . See story on page 16. (Ph oto by Carl Schuppel)

during the past three years by th iS father and son combination . See story on




Daniel Neuman 152t Berne Circle W. Minneapolis , MN 55421 6 t 2/571-0893

Ray Olcott 1500 Kings Way Nokomis , FL 33555




Stinson SM -2AB "Junior" with 225 hp Wright

John R. Turgyan Box 229. R.F.D. 2 Wrightstown , NJ 08562

S.J . Wittman Box 2672


-5 . Th is is NC8444 . Si N 1065. Ship NO . 3 owned by the Naturaline


Co . of America . manufacturers of aviation fuel in Tulsa , OK . It was

widely used as a corporate aircraft by Naturaline. (EAA Archive Photo - Walter Klose Collection)


609 17 58-2910

414 /235-1265


George S. York 181 Sloboda Ave. Mansfield, OH 44906










are registered trademarks . THE EAA


SKY SHOPPE and logos of the EAA AVIATION FOUNDATION INC. and EAA ULTRALIGHT CONVENTION are trademarks of the above associations and their use by any person other than the above associations is strictly




prohibited .


Timothy V. Bowers 729 - 2nd St. Woodland , CA 95695

Robert C. " Bob" Brauer 9345 S. Hoyne Chicago . IL 60620

Editorial Poli cy : Readers are encouraged to su bmit stories and photographs . Policy opinions expressed in artic les are solely those of the authors. Respon si bility for accuracy in reporting rests entirely with the contributor . Material should be sent to : Gene R. Chase . Editor . The VINTAGE AIRPLANE. Wittman Air1ield . Oshkosh , WI 54903-3086 . Phone : 414/426-4800 .




Philip Coulson

Robert D. " Bob" Lumley Nl04 W20387

The VINTAGE AIRPLANE (ISSN 0091-6943) is published and owned exclusively by EAA Antique/Classic Division. Inc . of the Experimental Aircraft Association . Inc . and is published monthly at Wittman Air1ield . Oshkosh . WI 54903­ 3086 . Second Class Postage paid at Oshkosh , WI 54901 and additional mailing oHices. Membership rates for EAA Antique/Classic Division, Inc. are $18 .00 for current EAA members for 12 month period of which $12 .00 is for the publication of The VINTAGE AIRPLANE . Membership is open to all who are interested in aviation .

28415 Springbrook Dr. Lawton , Mt 49065


Willow Creek Road Colgate. WI 53017


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ADVERTISING - Antique/Classic Division does not guarantee or endorse any product oHered through ouradvertis­ ing . We invite constructive criticism and welcome any report of inferior merchandise obtained through our advertising so that corrective measures can be taken .


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Postmaster : Send address changes to EAA Antique /Classic D;vision , Inc ., Wittman Air1ield, Oshkosh , WI 54903-3086 .

Compiled by Gene Chase OLDEST FOKKER After being stored in Poland for many years, the
Compiled by Gene Chase
After being stored in Poland for many
years, the oldest surviving Fokker, a
1913 Spin (Spider) was returned to the
Fokker company where it will be re­
stored for static display.
The tail group, wheels and propeller
A variant of the Fokker Spin.
are missing and will have to be repli­
cated, but the rest of the airframe is in
good condition. Power is a 70 hp Re­
nault. The public may be allowed to
watch the restoration work which will
take place at the Aviodome Museum at
Johannisthal, Berlin. After World War
One, Fokker himself took it to the
Netherlands where it was rebuilt for dis­
play in his company's headquarters in
Amsterdam . Following
their invasion in
Schiphol Airport,
Amsterdam .
This particular Spin was made up
from components from several other
aircraft built in the Fokker factory at
1940 the Germans returned the craft to
Berlin where it was displayed in the
great Deutsche Luftfahrt Sammlung
(German Aviation Collection). From
t~ere it was taken to Poland with many
other aircraft from the collection.
It remained as part of the Polish na­
tional aviation and space museum's col­
lection in Krakow until this year, when
lengthy negotiations for its return were
When the final restoration is finished
the Spin will probably be displayed once
again in the Fokker Company's offices
in Amsterdam . •

U()()k l2eview

Company's offices in Amsterdam . • U()()k l2eview IOWA TAKES TO THE AIR - Volume Two

IOWA TAKES TO THE AIR - Volume Two 1919-1941, Aerodrome Press, 1986. 336 pages and 176 photo­ graphs.

This is an excellent account of avia­ tion activity in Iowa from the barnstorm­ ing days following WW I through the "Golden Age" era of the '20s and '30s. Noted pilot and author, Ann Pellegreno, through extensive research has documented the aviation events and participants during these exciting years. Except during the Great Depression, aeronautical activity was at an all-time high with Iowans designing and building

aircraft, winning races, performing at airshows, operating flying services, etc. Although the book is mainly about Iowans, there are references to others who partiCipated in flying activities in the state. The names of several celebrities will be recognized and the many photos, some of them rare, are a valu­ able addition to the text. This book is both entertaining and a

valuable historical account of flying in the early years . It and its predecessor, Volume I, should be in every aviation

buff 's library

G . R. C . •

. It and its predecessor, Volume I, should be in every aviation buff 's library G
. It and its predecessor, Volume I, should be in every aviation buff 's library G


by Dennis Parks EAA Library/Archives Director SKYWAYS The interest in aviation developments during the Second

by Dennis Parks EAA Library/Archives Director


The interest in aviation developments during the Second World War spurred

a large response from magazine pub­

lishers. Over 30 aviation titles were available during the war, most of which had begun during the war. Among the





Most of these new titles did not sur­ vive the war or much beyond it. One of them, AIR LIFE survived only one issue; another, AIR PICTORIAL lasted only one year. This month's subject, SKY­ WA YS, was able to continue until 1963. SKYWA YS which first appeared in November, 1942, was founded by J. Fred Henry with Hendry Lars Bart as managing editor. The first issue was of good size with 84 pages and 16 feature articles. There was quite a range of to­ pics covered besides the expected mil­

itary aviation. There was a retrospective look at the commercial airlines, ''The

article on stall de­

sign of new trainers, ''There's no Stal­ ling on Safety;" speed limits in aircraft design, "Are Super-Sonic Speeds Feasible?" and a look at future personal planes, "Skyways of the Future" - a preview of the 1952 "Flivers." Among the authors appearing in the magazine during the 1940s were : Han­ son W. Baldwin, famous military histo­ rian; Gill Robb Wilson , later the editor of FL YING and Don Downie, now a senior editor of KITPLANES and PRI­

Airlines Carry On ;" an


Among the many people being dis­

charged in 1946 was Dilbert the Dope. Well known to naval aviators as the car­ toon personification of "Pilot Error," Dil­ bert became a civilian and started ap­ pearing regularly in SKYWA YS with the July 1946 issue. Dilbert was the crea­ tion of S. H. Warner and R. Osborn . Today they are probably better known for their Grandpaw Pettibone charac­ ters, the sage of flight safety in NAVAL


One of the outstanding features of SKYWA YS in the later mid-40s was its

" series. Each arti­

cle in the series featured the story of the development and design of a par­ ticular aircraft. Along with the text was a color photograph (marked "A Sky­

ways Plane Portrait") and an excellent

"Evolution of the

cut-a-way drawing done by Douglas Rolfe. One of the first articles covered was the North American P-51 Mustang which appeared in the January 1944

issue. The article was written by Edgar

Schmued , the designer of the

Reflecting war time interests, all of the early aircraft covered in the series were

warbirds, mainly fighters. Both U.S. and foreign aircraft were presented, includ­ ing the Hellcat, Corsair, Havoc, Zero, Lancaster and Fw-190. The drawings were originally on two


format became a two-page drawing on

a three-page fold out, and finally it be­

came three full pages. These large fold­

outs had the photos on the back for a

three-page photo spread. The first appearance of a light plane

the series was in the April 1945 issue ;

the Aeronca Super Chief being the sub­ ject. Other aircraft to appear in 1945 mixed in with the warbirds were the Er­ coupe and Luscombe Silvair. The article on the Aeronca stated that

~t was a philosophy at the company that In order to attract the non-professional flyer , an airplane must be "something they can handle without long schooling

a low

stalling point, and a long glide angle." After talking about the evolution of the Aeroncas the post war planes were dis­ cussed . These included a four-place, cross country plane for the "family trade" intended to compete in price with the average automobile. The article closed with some remarks about the current restrictive attitude of the CAA. An Aeronca sales manager said , ''They should place the monkey



folded in the binding , later the

have a low landing speed

on the individual's shoulder instead of mothering sheep . If they put more re­ sponsibility on the individual , he should be more careful. As far as the builder is concerned , it is always a challenge to him to make a plane that the average guy can fly : he doesn 't need to be told ." In the April 1945 issue the emerging competition for the expected post-war light plane boom was evidenced by the full page ads from Piper, Culver, Lus­ combe (full color) and Stinson. During 1946 the "Evolution" series became the "Plane of the Month" seri es and each covered a personallightplane. These included the Stinson 150, Taylor­ craft BC-12D and the Funk F2B (later B-85-C) . For some unknown reason the cut-a-way drawings started slipping, first going back to two page cut-a-ways and then ceasing with the September 1946 issue. SKYWA YS probably reached its pub­ lishing peak in December, 1946 with its 200-page "National Aircraft Show Issue." This issue contained more than 100 pages of information, photos and specs on new military, transport and civilian planes. The civil plane section was introduced by Henry Wallace, then Secretary of Commerce. Mr. Wallace saw a tremendous in­ crease in personal flying and said, "Having learned to fly, I cannot imagine the American public failing to take up

of transportation ." 1946

this new form

was indeed a boom year with 35 ,000 civil aircraft produced. But that first full year without war was also the peak year as production dropped to 15,617 in


The December issue had descrip­

(Continued on Page 24)

as production dropped to 15,617 in 1947. The December issue had descrip­ (Continued on Page 24)
Photo by Gene Chase Steve Pitcairn wipes down "Miss Champion " after arrival at Oshkosh

Photo by Gene Chase

Steve Pitcairn wipes down "Miss Champion " after arrival at Oshkosh '86.


Pitcairn-Cierva Autogiro PCA-2

by Carl Gunther and Gene Chase

The ten-year period between 1925 and 1935 was an exciting time in avia ­ tion history. Multi-passenger aircraft were keeping regular schedules over Europe; Charles Lindbergh, the "Lone Eagle ," had completed his first success­ ful non-stop flight across the Atlantic ; "barnstormers" and flying circuses were thrilling large crowds all over America ; millions of eyes looked skyward in won­ der as huge lighter-than-air craft in the form of dirigibles plowed their ponder­ ous paths through the atmosphere . But few aircraft caught and held the public attention as did the autogiro. Called "flying windmills" by news repor­


ters who had little understanding of the

principles of autorotational flight , these strange-looking aircraft, invented by a Spanish engineer named Juan de la Cierva, captured the hearts and minds

of the air-minded public because of their

remarkable performance coupled with

a high degree of safety. These facts

made autogiros an ideal means to carry

out nation-wide advertising campaigns by a number of American manufactur­ ers . The Champion Spark Plug Com­ pany was one of these. Champion executives were not slow

to see the large amount of publicity au­

togiros drew wherever they performed

across the country. Nor was the fact that many of the leaders of American

aviation. such as Charles Lindbergh , Jimmy Doolittle , Frank Hawks , Amel ia Earhart , Clarence Chamberlin , David Ingalls and many others were beating a steady path to Pitcairn Field near Willow Grove, Pennsylvania where Harold Pit­ cairn was designing and building these phenomenal aircraft. It wasn 't long before Champion Vice­ President M. C . Dewitt showed up at the Pitca irn Aircraft Company office ,

prepared to do business . Pitcairn Vice­ President Edwin Asplundh promptly led Mr . Dewitt out to the ramp in front of the main hangar doors where stood an au­ togiro with its engine idling . In the rear

cockpit sat Jim Ray, Pitcairn 's chief


pilot , who motioned Dewitt to climb


the front seat. As soon as Dewitt 's safety belt was fastened , Jim engaged the clutch , bringing the rotor up to flight speed , and executed a short steep takeoff within the confines of the fenced-in ramp area. The demonstration of the autogiro 's characteristics to which Jim treated De­ witt included the usual aerial maneuv­ ers and then a throttled-back pass at the field a mere fifteen feet above the grass at a speed of less than thirty miles per hour, yet under complete control. and finally a vertical "dead-stick" land­ ing from 500 feet on the exact spot from where they had departed ten minutes earlier with a roll of only two or three feet. Dewitt , who was no stranger to fly­ ing , climbed out on the wing as soon as the engine stopped, and with a big grin on his face said , ''I'm impressed , but can our pilot do tha!?" "Who is your pilo!?" Jim asked . "Captain Lewis A. Yancey , if he can handle it," replied De­ witt . "I know Yancey ," said Jim . "He'll do fine ."

As a matter of fact , "Lon " Yancey , famed for his trans-Atlantic flight in a Bellanca in 1929 to Rome, Italy. had already been receiving autogiro flight in­ struction from Jim and "Skipper" Lu­ kens, another Pitcairn pilot, for several days . His handling of the autogiro was quite acceptable . With more experience he became an accomplished autogiro pilot with the capability of handling the routines autogiro demonstrations called for. Satisfied, Dewitt Signed the sales ag­ reement. On paper the agreement sim­ ply stated that "in consideration of the sum of $15,125 in hand paid , we hereby sell and transfer unto Champion Spark Plug Company of Toledo, Ohio, one au­ togiro type PCA-2, Serial Number B-27, Engine 12563, engine type Wright Whirlwind J-6, R-975, 300 hp, Dept. of Commerce number NC11609, man­ ufactured June 1931 free and clear of liens and encumbrances of whatever kind or nature this 29th day of June 1931." The signatures of Asplundh and Dewitt appeared beside their respective company names and titles.

Photo by Cart Schuppet

The markings were accurately reproduced from the original fabric, except for Steve's name at the rear cockpit.

ability of "Miss Champion" to fly slowly and even "hover" over certain spots helped the archeologists make new dis­ coveries that could have taken years on the ground . Back in the U.S ., sub­ sequent flights into the Yosemite Valley in California and the crater of Crater Lake , Oregon were a "piece of cake" by comparison. "Miss Champion " was not just a curiosity of her era . Wherever she flew she engendered confidence in the method of flight as a truly safe form of aerial navigation. She was a hard worker, too, often towing advertising banners over the cities she visited , at­ tracting valuable at1ention to the prod­ ucts her banner proclaimed . The Cham­ pion Company declared in a let1er to

Pitcairn Aircraft , builders

giro , that the value of the aircraft

creasing sales and goodwill toward their products was beyond estimate. "Miss Champion" was one of the first

of her type to appear in the United States and was retired from active ser­

of their auto­

in in­

Thus was born "Miss Champion" ­

the first rotary wing aircraft ever selected to lead the Ford Air Tour. Two

ply . He then successfully began his

most miraculous flight of all from Havana, over the Cuban wilderness,

vice, after setting a new altitude record on September 25, 1932 of 21 ,500 feet, the highest a rotary-wing aircraft had

days after the autogiro's delivery at To­ ledo, Ohio , Captain Yancey took oH from Ford Airport with the 1931 National Air Tour. The Champion autogiro was the OHicial Tour Ship. During the tour, "Miss Champion " visited 21 states and

across the wide and treacherous waters of the Yucatan Channel (part of the Gulf of Mexico), over the trackless expanse of the Yucatan jungles to its capital of Merida, a non-stop trip of nearly 500 miles , where he was welcomed by the

ever flown . In

her way , "Miss Champi­

on " had been a miSSionary, her clumsy appearance appealing to the imagina­ tion of the public and winning its confi­ dence through her ability to deliver the goods with complete safety. She was

spring of 1935.


cities and towns from London, On­


retired with honor as a permanent

tario , Canada to New Orleans , Louisiana ; from Fort Worth , Texas to Kalamazoo, Michigan. Total mileage

It was from the ancient city of Merida that Captain Yancey made a number of flights to the capital of the Mayan Em­

exhibit of Chicago's Rosenwald Museum of Science and Industry in the

was well in excess of 6,500 , with her

pire at Chichen Itza, even landing in


World War II , the museum had

flight log showing more than 120 hours

front of the famed "Temple of the Ser­

to give

up "Miss Champion " in favor of

aloft. Everywhere the autogiro landed it at1racted wide at1ention , and easily won the major share of newspaper and radio coverage , a fact that visibily annoyed a number of the other pilots on the tour . After the Air Tour, the Champion Company put "Miss Champion " to work get1ing publicity for Champion dealers from Maine to Florida. Her demonstra­

pents" - the great

Mayan pyramid . The

more timely exhibits from the recent

tions of controlled slow flight , unusual maneuverability, and near vertical land­ ings at the annual National Air Races brought national recognition to this new and safer form of flight. In January of 1932 , "Miss Champion " made a flight considered "risky" for any


no autogiro had ever flown more than

25 miles over water . On January 24th ,

Captain Yancey flew the autogiro from Miami to Havana Cuba , a distance of over 300 miles . His arrival in Havana was greeted by enthusiastic crowds, and he was invited to the presidential palace by President Machado . But Yancey had even greater ambi­ tions . A wire to the Pitcairn Autogiro Company brought him a week later a specially designed auxiliary fuel tank which he mounted in the front cockpit of his PCA-2, thus doubling his fuel sup-

let alone an autogiro . Until then

Photo by Carl Schuppel

The first flight demonstration ever of a Pitcairn autogiro at an EAA Convention. Steve flies his PCA-2 in the Parade of Flight" at Oshkosh '86.

Pitcairn Archive. Photo

Champion Spark Plug PCA-2 Pitcairn autogiro undergoing rotor run-up tests at factory


world conflict, and this vintage lady was released into the knowledgeable care of Mr. A. K. Miller of Montclair, New Jer­

sey , who

for many years until he was forced to close it down and move to other quar­

ters. Miller couldn 't bear

giving up this magnificent relic of the pioneering era in Amer ican aviation , so he disassembled her and moved her into a barn on his farm in Vermont , where she gathered dust for many years. Meanwhile, Stephen Pitcairn , (EAA 109260, AlC 4080), 2410 Terwood Drive , Bryn Athyn , PA 19009, son of Harold Pitcairn, the aviation pioneer and winner of the Collier Trophy for his development of the autogiro in this country , had begun the formidable task of collecting and restoring examples of his father's aircraft . The first to be com­ pleted by Steve was the PA-5 Mailwing , originally built for his father in 1928 . Next was a PA-7 Sport Mailwing, which won for Steve the Silver Age Champion Award at the 1983 EAA Convention at

certificate with most ratings . He holds commercial fixed wing, helicopter and autogiro ratings along with flight instruc­ tion ratings for these types . He is an accomplished "practical engineer ." He is a member of the Society of Experi­ mental Test Pilots, making "first flights in several experimental rotor craft in the 1940s including the 'world's largesf" (Piasecki XHRP-1, Tandem Rotor) helicopter. He built , from scratch, a small racing plane and a light, tandem rotor helicopter. Before joining Stephen Pitcairn he had been chief inspector and director of engineering for a regional air carrier. Under his supervision, "Miss Champi­ on " was stripped of her original cover (the logos and numerals were saved to be copied) , and the painstaking process of inspection began . Careful notation of items to be worked on were listed in order of priority. Eighty-five percent of the original parts were refurbished and

kept her in his own museum

the thought of

reinstalled , but a few items had to be remanufactured, since replacement parts did not exist. Fortunately the orig­ inal Pitcairn factory drawings were in Steve's possession . One of the most important tasks in the restoration process was the rebuild­ ing of the rotor blades. Each main spar had to undergo rigid x-ray inspection to make sure there was no corrosion or cracks in the steel tubes which served as the backbone of these rotating wings . Then each rib with its spar-at­ tachment collar had to be inspected and very often replaced because of dam­

age , cracks or other defects.

It was during this tedious but crucial part of the job that Townson noticed that the airfoil curve of the ribs actually used in the rotor blades was slightly different from the curve called for by the Pitcairn engineering specifications. According to this official document, the airfoil used

was the Goettingen 429. But when Townson placed one of the ribs he had removed over the official drawing, he saw immediately that the curve was just slightly different. Methodically he checked each rib throughout the length of the spar but found the same small but definite differ­ ence . Had someone made them all wrong , or was this a planned departure from the original specs? Knowing the care with which the Pitcairn people did their jobs, he reasoned that it was more likely that this was a deliberate design modification . He reached for the phone and called Carl Gunther, the Pitcairn ar­ chivist, and after briefly outlining the problem, asked him if he knew of any­ thing in the old Autogiro Company re­ cords that would confirm or deny his suspicions. Requests of this kind were not new to Gunther, who had presided over the records for more than 15 years. As a matter of fact he had just recently set

Oshkosh, Wisconsin . Somewhere along the line, Steve heard about the autogiro owned by Mr . Miller. After several attempts to com­ municate by mail, Steve went to Ver­ mont to visit Miller. then in his seven­ ties , and finally succeeded in negotiat­ ing for the PCA-2 autogiro , NC11609, some five years later. Steve had it trucked to his hangar at the Trenton­ Robbinsville Airport, New Jersey, where the restoration process began in October, 1982. Fortunately , at this time , George Townson , (EAA 251901 , AlC 9519) of Delran , New Jersey, a former autogiro pilot and mechanic, was available for a full-time commitment. George's impres­ sive credentials include air frame and powerplant certificate with an inspec­ tion authorization, ground instructor


This view shows the cable arrangement of the

Pitcairn Archives Photo

rotor blades .

aside several engineering reports which he thought might be helpful to Steve Pit­ cairn and his able restoration chief, and in one of them he recalled seeing some statements made by Paul Stanley, one of the Autogiro Company's key en­ gineers, about the design of the rotor

blades used in

Within a few days, Townson was holding in his hands the documents that confirmed his belief that this was a de­ liberate design modification. The new airfoil proved on testing to be smoother and more efficient under flight condi­ tions , but the changes , coming on top of so many others as the Pitcairn team pioneered their way to new horizons of knowledge, rated only a single sen­ tence reference in the official engineer­ ing report. That sentence , however, en­ abled Townson to properly rebuild the four rotor blades that enabled this un­ usual old bird to fly . Airfoils, critical as they were, proved to be only one of the factors necessary to the solution of the rotor problem . Each blade had to be accurately weighed and their weights brought to within 2 ounces of each other and at the same time keep the span wise center of gravity of all blades within 1/8 inch of each other. Inattention to these details could cause, at least , an uncomfortable ride from vibrations. Finally , in the spring of 1985, "Miss Champion" was rolled out of the hangar to check her engine and rotor system. As Steve Pitcairn climbed into the cockpit to begin this initial testing proce­ dure , George Townson looked on somewhat apprehensively. Steve acti­ vated the starter for the nine cylinder J-6 Wright engine. The ground adjusta­ ble Hamilton Standard propeller swung jerkily a couple of times and , as the en­ gine rumbled into a throaty roar, spun into a full shiny disc of whirling blades, blowing swirls of dust behind the giro's

the PCA-2 autogiros .

Pitcairn Archives Photo

An Interested audience poses with "Miss Champion" at the Temple of Tigers, Yucatan, February 1932.

upturned elevators. Satisfied that all was well so far , Steve looked over at George, who gave

a little shrug of his shoulders and made

a whirling sign with his forefinger. Steve

reached for the rotor clutch knob and pulled it firmly toward him to its lock po­

sition . Slowly

blades began their counterclockwise spin . Gradually Steve eased open the throttle and the rotor increased the speed of its rotation . Soon the blades were standing straight out at right angles to the hub. 80th men were looking for signs of in­ creasing vibration that would indicate some problem with the rotor. George noticed that one of the blades seemed to be tracking a bit lower than the

others , so he gave Steve the sign to cut

power to the engine . As it slowed

to idl­

ing speed and the rotor gradually slowed down, George walked over and told Steve to shut her down so he could check the blade settings.

It was while this checking was going on that a small wrench being used to adjust one of the blades near its root

fell and punctured a hole in the fabric

on the

wing below . Now

a small wrench

is not

a heavy object ,

and both men

thought it strange that a puncture would result from this trivial event. George went to his toolbox and brought back a Maule fabric tester. Testing the area near the puncture, he found it below al­

then tested other

areas on the fabric-covered aircraft . With only slight variations the result was

the same . The brand new fabric cover­

ing was definitely weak and would have to be replaced! What a disappointment, because it meant among other things , that the autogiro would miss Oshkosh '85, just one month away. Although the fabric tested low, Steve and George decided to make three short test flights to 700 feet to check the systems , rotor rpm in flight and control response, etc. These short flights, the first in 51 years for "Miss Champion" proved the excellence of the original de­ sign and the painstaking care George gave to the restoration . All systems worked above expectations. To determine the cause of the fabric deterioration, samples were sent to a testing laboratory, along with a descrip­ tion of what had happened. When the report came back it indicated the par­ ticular nitrate dope formulation had an excess acid condition which resulted in the serious weakening of the Grade A cotton fabric. The process of recovering and painting "Miss Champion '" with a

new covering

September 1985.

lowable tolerance . He

system was started in

the four large overhead

Pitcairn Archives Photo

Company pilot Lew Yancey operates "Miss Champion " out of a clearin~ in the jungle of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. This is the Temple of the Soldiers at Chlchen Itza, one of the Mayan ruins then being reclaimed from the rain forest. At that time (1932) it was 100 miles from the nearest civilization.

Off to Oshkosh '86

Steve' would not be denied flying his

rare Pitcairn autogiro

however the trip wasn 't certain until the

last minute . Having only a total of four

to Oshkosh '86 ,

Pitcairn Archives Photo

Captain Yancey was permitted to make two landings in Yosemite Valley, CA on May 22,1932. Here a newsreel cameraman is roped into the front cockpit to film the event.

hours on

Thursday , July 31 , hoping to arrive at

Oshkosh August 1, opening day of the EAA Convention. He battled inclement weather as­ sociated with a warm front until crossing the Allegheny Mountains when things began to clear up.

The first leg of his flight was 1:45 to

a refueling stop at Car lisle , PA where

he would also check his calculated fuel

consumption .

There he landed into the

wind across the runway utilizing the STOL characteristics of the autogiro. Al­ though the plane carries 52 gallons of fuel, Steve plans his cross-country legs

the plane , he departed on


a conservative maximum of 2 hours


minutes .

Pitcairn Archives Photo

His next stop was at Beaver County Airport, northwest of Pittsburgh and

from there he flew to Bluffton , Ohio (be­ tween Lima and Findlay) . Unbeknownst

to Steve at the time , a nut had loosened

allowing the oleo strut on the left landing


"vee" axle were dangling from the N­ strut and although Steve was talking on unicom with the folks at Bluffton , they didn't recognize the problem as they had never seen an autogiro before . The touchdown on the runway was on the side of the errant left wheel at an estimated 8 mph ground speed . The

gear to separate . The wheel and

Captain Lewis Yancey is congratulated upon his successful landing by Don Tresidder, plane pivoted to the left , going down on

head of the Yosemite National Park and Curry Co., and by Chief Ranger Forrest Townsley. Note newsreel cameraman in front cockpit. Date was May 22, 1932.

the left wing but fortunately not far enough to ding the ground adjustable Hamilton-Standard propeller . Due to

10 NOVEMBER 1986

centrifugal force holding them out, the rotor blades didn't contact the runway until they slowed and were suspended by their respective droop cables . Only the rotor blade tips touched very lightly, doing minimal damage. The airport owner and manager, Harold Carey came out on his golf cart, sized up the situation and said he'd call a wrecker from town to hoist the plane and move it off the runway . This was accomplished and it was moved into a hangar where it rested on some barrels

while the landing gear

Steve contacted George Townson back home and he came to Bluffton to supervise the repair job. Thanks to the

assistance of some local folks and the availability of a machine shop and weld­ ing facilities, the repairs were com­


In the meantime , Steve's good

friends Wayne Hays and his wife of Robbinsville, New Jersey, left three days early on their vacation and brought

was repaired .

to Bluffton the needed materials from Steve's hangar, including covering ma­ terial, paint and an extra set of stream ­ line wires which had to be replaced be­ tween the two landing gear N-struts. Wayne worked all the next day (Saturday) patching and painting the wing and rotor blades and by that even­ ing , "Miss Champion" was ready for a test flight. Everything checked out okay and Steve departed on Sunday a.m. for Oshkosh. A refueling stop was made at Val­ paraiso , Indiana then on to Chicago where Steve flew along the lake shore with a breathtaking view looking up at the city's skyscrapers! A final fuel stop was made at Hartford , Wisconsin and at 1:30 on Sunday afternoon , August 3 , he touched down at Wittman Airfield - Oshkosh at last! Time enroute was 10.5 hours. Steve thrilled Oshkosh '86 Conven­ tion-goers with his demonstration flights

Photo by Gene Chase

When the autogiro is tied down, each of the four rotor blades is secured as well. Notes lines from the two forward blades. The rotor drive shaft is shown ahead of the front strut of the rotor mast. It's engaged for start-up only.

on Monday during the "Parade of Flight" and again on Wednesday in the "Air­ craft Showcase" preceding the air show. The short field take off and land­ ing capabilities of this 55-year-Old air­ craft were most impressive, as were the extremely short radius turns wh ile air­ borne.

It was interesting to watch the start­ up, taxi and take off procedure for the autogiro . Taxiing is mostly conventional even without a steerable tailwheel (it still has its original skid) . Steering on the ground is strictly by use of brakes ,

a technique made somewhat easier be­

cause of the wide (13 ft . 3 in .) tread of

the landing gear.

Prior to take off the rotor blades are started into rotation by the pilot pulling

a knob in the cockpit which engages a clutch, gearbox and shaft driven by the

Wright J6-9 . A separate tachometer in­

dicates the rotor speed and when 120

rpm is reached the rotor drive unit is

disengaged , full

Wright and the pilot takes off. No-wind take off distance is 250 ' maximum ; how­ ever, under certain conditions, it's pos­ sible to make a "jump take off" with zero ground roll.

Normal landing approaches are made at 20-25 mph forward speed , but

it is possible to slow the autogiro in the

air to zero forward speed and permit it to descend vertically to a landing. In a Champion Co. press release the verti­ cal descent speed was described as "14 feet per second , slower than a para­ chute." The beautifully restored Pitcairn Autogiro would most certainly have received an award at Oshkosh '86 but Steve chose to not register it for judging. After Steve's uneventful 9.5 hour flight home from Oshkosh in "Miss Champion " he began to do some things that time did not permit earlier. The plane was a little out of rig and that needed to be corrected. The pitch of the Hamilton-Standard propeller was set too low, yielding a cruise speed of only 80 mph instead of the 95-98 called for in the specs .

power is applied to the

Autogiro rotor blades "flap" (moder­


pin in a bronze bushing and by the time he got home the bushings were badly worn . It was determined that the pins were not getting enough grease and possibly the bushings were made from the wrong material.

New flying wires were ordered for the rotor blades and the previously dam­ aged landing gear was taken apart to have new pieces made to replace those which had been temporarily repaired on the flight to Oshkosh. By now those problems are surely re­ medied and Steve is enjoying more fly­ ing than ever, going aloft the world 's only flying example of a Pitcairn PCA-2 autogiro.

up and down , each pivoting on a

Photo by Gene Ch Steve Pitcairn taxies his Pitcairn PCA-2 autogiro at Oshkosh '86. Bibliography

Photo by Gene Ch

Steve Pitcairn taxies his Pitcairn PCA-2 autogiro at Oshkosh '86.


1. Aircraft Biography . "Miss Champion ". by

Carl R Gunther .

2. Interview With Stephen Pitcairn .

3 . "U.S. Civil Aircraft". Vol 5. by Joseph P


4. Pitcairn Aircraft Inc . brochure .

5. Champion Spark Plug Co . press releases

and brochure .


A Review by Gene Chase

Another new addition to the EAA Video Aviation Series is "Legacy of Wings", the story of Harold Frederick Pitcairn, an Amer­ ican aviation pioneer. whose eHorts and ac­ complishments are reflected In many facets of aviation today . As a young boy he was fascinated with manned flight and in his teens was designing , building and flying model airplanes. including a delta wing and


Wing span Length Height Rotor Diameter Rotor blade chord Empty Weight Gross Weight Maximum Speed Cruising Speed Landing Speed Rate of Climb Service Ceiling Gas Capacity Oil capacity Cruising range Price (fly-away factory)




rotary wing .


He took flight traming at one of Glenn Cur­


tiss's flying schools dunng World War I His

45 '0"


first airplane was a Farman Sport biplane which he flew from the family farm . The farm . near Bryn Athyn . Pennsyvanla . became the original Pitcairn Field in 1924 and when it was dedicated. some 20,000 spectators showed up to witness the festivities . That same year . Harold Pitcairn informed his wife that he had made the deCISion to make aVI­ ation his career.

A quiet man. Harold Pitcairn shunned the

spotlight but he worked tirelessly to improve both the scope and safety of aviation . His senes of Pitcairn Mailwlngs were great Im­ provements over the machines being flown by airmail pilots . Pitcairn started his own airline which be­

came one of today's major carriers . Eastern

Airlines. He was intrigued with rotary-wing

craft and traveled to Europe to meet Juan de

la Cierva who had made rotary-wing flight a


In time. Harold Pitcairn developd his own

rotary-wing craft and his patents, which date back to 1926, were purchased by Igor Sikorsky and incorporated in the XR-4, the world's first helicopter. This video includes rare . historic footage from amateur home movies showing flight of many Pitcairn aircraft including autogiros. Home movies and newsreel clips show the autogiro performing loops and landing and taking oH from unusual places including Chicago's Soldier Field and the White House lawn in Washington . DC . Among Harold Pitcairn's many firsts was the successful flight of a wingless autogiro. His ingenuity and inventiveness enabled the success of the modern helicopter. "Legacy of Wings" should be in the video collection of every aviation historian and all who are even remotely interested in rotary­ wing flight. It can be ordered in VHS or Beta

from the EAA Aviation Foundation for $39.95 plus $3.00 shipping . Please specify VHS or Beta format and include your name and ad­ dress, phone number and EAA number and

mail your check

to : EAA Video , Wi"man Air­

field . Oshkosh , WI 54903-3065 . Or, phone 1-800-843-3612 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00

p.m . (Wisconsin residents, phone 414 /426­ 4800). and use your VISA or MasterCard .•

Pitcairn Aircraft built twenty or more Model PCA-2 autogiros in their plant on Pitcairn Field, Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. These three-place utility aircraft quickly became promotional tools for various well-known companies including the "Detroit News" newspaper, Champion Spark Plug Co ., Standard Oil of New York, "Sealed Power"


Piston Ring Co. , Beechnut Packing Co.,

others. The "Detroit News" autogiro is on dis­ play at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn , Michigan.

Listed below are speCifications and perfor­ mance data.


Ibs .

119 mph

98 mph

o mph




52 gal

6.5 gal

290 miles

$15 ,000


3000 fpm 15,000' 52 gal 6.5 gal 290 miles $15 ,000 800 Photo by Carl Schuppe/

Photo by Carl Schuppe/

The many ribs of one of the rotor blades are evident in this view. The weight of each

blade is critical -

they must weigh within 2 ounces of each other.

12 NOVEMBER 1986



by George A. Hardie, Jr.

This neat little biplane was produced by a radio manufacturer in the late 1920s . The photo , submitted by Ed Peck of Waddy . Kentucky , shows the airplane in a restored state in its later life at Lexington , Kentucky . It would ap­ pear to be an attractive subject for today 's homebuilders . Answers will be published in the February 1987 issue of THE VINTAGE AIRPLANE. Deadline for that issue is December 10. 1986. The Mystery Plane in the August 1986 issue was no mystery to Mike Re­


"I watched the fellows build it. Two old timers at Palwaukee airport who were Bellanca dealers in those days , Cliff Condit and Gus Palmquist, built the ship known as the Conquist monoplane . We called it the Baby Bellanca . It was a two-place job powered with a Warner engine. The ship at one time could have been bought for less than $400 .00 in those depression days. The last time I saw it was at Bill Strine 's Stinson airport in back of the hangar collecting dust. " Cedric Galloway of Hesperia, Califor­

nia writes : "It was built by two men , Con­

of Chicago . Illinois who writes :


dit and Palmquist, and was powered by a Warner 125. The name came about by taking the first half of one name,

'Con ', and the last half of the other

man 's name , 'Quist' and they came up

with Conquist. As far as I know only one example was built. " Norman Orloff of San Antonio , Texas wrote : "The terminal build ing in the background looks just like the north end of the old Chicago Municipal terminal

as seen from the airport side during my

early visits to Muny in 1934-1935 ." He

also identified the airplane as the "Con­ quist 1."

Ed Flannery, Park Ridge, New Jer­ sey, thought the plane was a "Cresent" (Crescent?) built by Clarence Cham­

berlin at Teterboro Airport . He added ,

"A Cresent is now at the bottom of a lake in New Hampshire , flown in by a

bootlegger. " •

Restoration Corner

Editor's Note: "Assembly and Rigging " is the title of this ninth installment of the "Restoration Corner" series. Author Gene Morris is an airline captain living in Roanoke, Texas and he also serves on the Antique/Classic Division Board of Directors.

leading edge attach points or may have more than one bolt hole for mounting these pieces. Some knowledgeable tips could prevent you from having to take

To make it simple and very basic . I'll

start with the typical high wing monop­

like the Champ, Cub, T-craft , etc.

The wings attach to the fuselage with a bolt at the front spar and one at the rear



apart after you've flown it and found


out of rig . The same situation exists

spar . If it were not for your friend holding

for some vertical fins. Believe it or not, I once saw a turnbuckle tightened too tight to pivot

on an elevator "up" horn and the

up the

wing tip , it would fall to the


ground . A real must for this operation is


three or four drift punches to get that initial hold on the holes until you can line them up for the bolts. Also, you should have a fiber hammer to tap in the bolts . Take care not to ruin the threads during this process . Before the wings went up in place, you have have fastened the lower strut to the fuselage. All that is required now

is to raise the strut up to the wing and 10 and behold, it will fit perfectly, and I

by Gene Morris (EAA 81175, Ale 1877)


turnbuckle failed during a landing flare

about four

feet above the runway . What


landing , but there was no

damage' In

Now that you 've brought your airplane up through all the various stages of rebuilding /restoring , you have probably learned all that you can absorb

about good working habits .

course , continue with these habits and

You will, of

your assembly of movable items, they must be allowed to move. If the empennage is braced with streamline wires , treat them carefully using masking tape or similar protection on the crescent wrench used to adjust them . The tightness will be a consensus between you and your A&P . Be sure to guard against pulling the surfaces out of plumb. Also, you will notice that one end of the wire has right-hand threads while those on the other end are left hand . Your good working habits will in­ sure that you do not lose the left-hand jam nut' Most aircraft have specified limits of control surface travel so you should use your bubble protractor for that step.


you will

have gotten to know your A&P I


IA very well by now. Hopefully he can be considered an expert on your airplane . If not . I would at least contact someone who has been

don 't know of an airplane that will not stand upright with just one wing panel

unless it's Ken Hyde's Jenny. I know

for a fact that the old Travel Air stood up, almost straight, with both wings on one side. After both wings are on and the ailer­ ons are in place, you will once again get into the cable tension game. Thank goodness for ball bearing pullies, be­ cause a little too much cable tension on the old type pulleys can really make for stiff controls .


there before

even if it's by tele­

phone, you can pick up a lot of good ideas. This is not to say that your A&P is not capable, but it's part of sharing experiences and ideas with each other. My restoration experience is limited compared to some , but I have helped several people where I could , and am very happy and flattered to do so . I once flew our old Travel Air 4000 to Hartford, Wisconsin from our home (then) near Chicago so the FAA could compare it with Tom Hegy's to deter­ mine if they were constructed alike . They were and they gave him his en­ gine installation STC on the grounds that mine once had the same engine installed in 1937 . If you are a newcomer to antique or classic airplane circles you will find that nearly everyone is eager to help you , especially if it doesn't cost anything .

Tail Surfaces

You can probably assemble the tail feathers all by yourself so just continue with your good habits and be sure to use a level to get things nice and straight. Someone with past experience might

Some folks get the urge to taxi their pride and joy before installing the wings .

A common error at this point is getting the aileron cables crossed. Be sure that you have them properly identified and tied off correctly before putting the wings on. Sometimes , if the cables are crossed , the movement one way will be heavier than the other. Again , how do you sup­ pose I would know that? There are a couple of things to bear

A word of caution is in order here . On

a tail dragger the wings represent a sig­

nificant amount of weight aft of the land­ ing gear. This translates into an air­ frame without wings that is very light in

the tail and even a slight appl ication of brakes while tax ii ng could result in a sudden shortening of the propeller. How do you suppose I would know that? Up to now , you 've slaved over your airplane for months and probably are still peeling dope off your fingers, your wife has thrown away all your dopel paint-laden clothes and I hope some­ where in all the laboring you have planned to have a wing-raising party. If

in mind when

rigging the aileron cables .

Naturally you will want the control wheel or stick to be centered when the ailer­ ons are even . That will be your job. On most airplanes the ailerons should droop just slightly, perhaps 118 inch or maybe a little more. Rigged thusly the air load will streamline them in flight. If

you are

prone to parties , this is


this is all done correctly, you should not have to touch them again . On this hypothetical airplane we are assemblying, you will notice that the

length of the rear strut only is adjusta­ ble . This is to adjust the proper angle of wash-out at the wing tip (when specified). The length of the front wing spar is fixed to maintain the angle of

for your list, but don't let anybody stum­

ble into your nice, straight stringers, etc.

Installing wings on an airplane can vary all the way from a simple lift up and put in two bolts (or is it four?) as on an Ercoupe to hanging four wing panels on



save you some work with horizontal stabilizer adjustments for instance. Some vintage aircraft require the instal­ lation of washers under the stabilizer

14 NOVEMBER 1986

dihedral as designed into the aircraft . After the two struts are attached to the wing, stand at the tip and look to­ ward the fuselage, sighting down the

bottom of the wing . The wing panel should have a slight twist in it, with the trailing edge at the tip being about 1/2 inch higher than at the wing root. This

being about 1/2 inch higher than at the wing root. This it's obtained by increasing the

it's obtained by

increasing the length of the rear strut. It's also a good idea to stand in front of your airplane and eyeball for unifor­ mity of the wash-out on the left and right panels, just like you did with your model airplanes. Wash-in and wash-out applies to all wings regardless of struc­

ture , i.e., struts, wires , or however they may be attached . Do not under any circumstances allow the wings to be washed-in (trailing edge at wing tip lower than root rib) . This condition will cause the tips to stall first and your airplane will be a real bitch to fly . Conversely, when the wings have wash-out the wing root stalls first giving a straight ahead stall as well as retain­ ing aileron control for a longer period of time . Of course, you have seen that all fuel lines are in place in that tiny little space between the wing root rib and the fuse­ lage as well as the wiring to the wing lights and the pitot/static lines. Be sure the wing-to-fuselage fairings (when used), are in good shape and

fastened securely to

the airframe . We

once had a PA-12 in Alaska that nobody

decently . We finally deter­

could land

mined that the wing fairing was loose just behind the windshield and during the land ing flare that little bit of fairing sticking up adversely affected the airflow over the tail surfaces!

One more thing about wa~~h-in and wash-out. Since the ailerons nave the same amount of droop with th~ stick or wheel centered , they will be a1justed correctly. Should your airpla" e fly straight and level, hands off, and one aileron is up and one is down , do not re-adjust the ailerons! Correct the con­ dition by lengthening the rear strut to the wing with the "up" aileron . Make these adjustments in small increments then test fly until the ailerons remain even. Don 't be hesitant about asking ques­ tions and always be observant. For in­ stance, Cessna 140As and some others with single struts have an eccentric at the rear spar fitting to adjust for wing


any wing adjustments . My 1940 Culver Cadet is one of those and as you might expect, it flew wing heavy. I did not want to correct it by installing an adjustable aileron tab so I flew it for months with a large rubber band stretched between

is called wash-out , and

heaviness. Some airplanes don 't

Photo by Teel Koaton

Gene Morris flying his 1931 American Eaglet, NC548Y,

the stick and the landing gear lever. I finally broke down and put a tab on it . My 1931 American Eaglet has no elevator trim system at all so we carry the rubber band on cross country flights, attached to the seat belt and over the stick. The resulting back pres­ sure on the stick corrects a slight nose­ heavy condition . The price of staying original!.


I only have experience with one bip­ lane, our old Travel Air 4000. On that plane the center section is adjustable fore and aft which changes the CG , for example, for different engine installa­ tions, etc. Most biplanes have center sections and the sequence for installing the wing panels is : 1) center section ; 2) lower

panels; 3) upper panels . When the lower panels are installed , the tips are

the landing wires . The tips

supported by

of the upper panels are supported by the outer interplane struts. Rigging these birds can give one gray hairs because when one wire is ad­ justed, one or more will probably need re-adjusting . Rigging specifications are

available for most airplanes and these instructions should definitely be fol­ lowed. I would guess that it's really a

good feeling to put a biplane together and have it fly perfectly the first time l

the flying and landing wires aren 't

the slipstream , they

may flutter during flight. This condition should be remedied immediately , as

flutter can mean failure. If you are not already familiar with the

rod terminals, you should know they have a small opening called a witness hole in the side of the shank . This is the gauge to assure that the rod end is screwed into the terminal at least that far. The proper threading of each end must be verified by inserting a piece of safety wire into the witness hole. Share your fun and problems. Once again, you are doing this project for fun or some sort of personal satisfaction and nothing is more gratifying than to share your fun , and problems, with the

rest of us . We all love airplanes

"strearTllined" into



airplane people so if this is your first restoration project you have much to look forward when you start flying it to

fly -ins , especially the greatest of them


Oshkosh! •

With Henry in the rear seat and Chuck in the front, the father-son team is

With Henry in the rear seat and Chuck in the front, the father-son team is ready to go out and bore some holes in the sky. Shoulder harnesses are standard procedure.

Webster. Minnesota. A home with a hangar on an airstrip was just what he was looking for . Henry'S oldest daugh­ ter helped him fly the UPF-7 from Seat­ tle to Webster on a memorable trip . About this time , a cabin airplane seemed a logical choice, so he pur­ chased a basket case Cessna C-34 Air­ master (N15463 , SI N 302) in Oklahoma and hauled it home in a trailer . It turned out to be a very early C-34 (3rd produc­ tion model) with the narrow landing gear and small rudder. An earlier owner had upgraded from a 145 Warner to a 165. As the Cessna was slowly rebuilt to near new condition, the hangar was get­ ting crowded with Waco and Cessna in every corner' This problem was solved by selling the UPF-7 to Bill Knight (EAA 72394, AIC 4201) of Brodhead, Wiscon­ sin . The restoration of the Airmaster was completed in 1984 , and that year it garnered the award for the "Outstand­ ing Closed Cockpit Monoplane - Con­ temporary Age " at Oshkosh .




- Con­ temporary Age " at Oshkosh . CLIV WI~f3 CUI3 Green grass and Cubs go
- Con­ temporary Age " at Oshkosh . CLIV WI~f3 CUI3 Green grass and Cubs go

Green grass and Cubs go together! Short wings and struts of Clip Wing conversion are plainly visible along with large "NC" number on wing.

by Norm Petersen (Photos by Carl Schuppel, except as noted)

Although the title of this article is "Clip Wing Cub ", the actual true title should

in reality be "Clip Wing Cub with a Pur­

pose!" And the people involved are a


year-old high school senior who is just learning to spread his wings. Read on . Henry Geissler, (EAA 86004, AlC 4179) , Rt . 1, Box 177C , Webster , Min­

nesota 55088 , was born in Sharon , Massachusetts in 1937 and grew up in the area just south of Boston. At age 21 , he entered the Air Force and be­ came an Air Force pilot for the next 11 years , logging over 5000 hours in the process. Leaving the Air Force in 1958, he signed on with Western Airlines as

a pilot and spent the next dozen years

at several stations , including Seattle .

While in Seattle, Henry bought his first airplane, a basket case Waco UPF­


Diving headlong into

stored the Waco into a beautiful red and

to settle an estate . the project , he re­

father and his son , a 17­

that was being sold

white biplane, scrounging missing parts and pieces from allover the country .

16 NOVEMBER 1986

When Western Airlines established a base in Minneapolis in 1977, Henry moved to the "Land of Sky Blue Waters" and took up residency on a beautiful air strip called Sky Harbor Air Park near

on a beautiful air strip called Sky Harbor Air Park near Photo by Norm Petersen Tail

Photo by Norm Petersen

Tail feathers of the Clip Wing Cub are held together by new stainless wires. Note smooth job of rib stitching.

Instrument panel ;,as been restored to standard layout. Henry has located "Cub" airspeed and tachometer

Instrument panel ;,as been restored to standard layout. Henry has located "Cub" airspeed and tachometer to Improve it some more! Note Inverted fuel selector on fuel tank with sight gauge to the right.

oil. The Cub passed through several owners including noted aerobatic pilot Marion Cole when age began to take its toll. The previous owner, before Henry, had started welding repairs to the fuse­ lage tubing, mostly around the tailpost.

These repairs were completed as well as several new sections of longerons. Once this was done, the Cub fuselage was sandblasted and epoxy primed. Henry's son , Chuck, who was now 14, really got into the rebuild with the cover­ ing job. Ceconite 102 was used throughout with Randolph butyrate

were put on

dope . A total of 12 coats

with Chuck doing all the sanding be­

stark evidence of

tween each coat . The

his ability shows up in the nearly mirror­

smooth finish on the Clip

A large sky light was installed in the roof of the cabin for better visibility while doing aerobatics . In addition, Henry fab­ ricated a tiny wooden panel to hold a

Wing .

Meanwhile , in 1981 , Henry caught wind of a J-3 Clip Wing Cub that was available as a basket case in the Carolinas. Figuring that his 12-year-old son , Chuck , would be about ready to learn to fly in a few years, Henry pur­ chased the Cub, N2039M , SIN 20807, from Carter Fairchild (EAA 256119) and drove his pickup and trailer 10 the moun­ tains of South Carolina to retrieve the

project . Henry admits it was quite a trip , having never been in that part of the U.S. before. The logbooks on N2039M reveal it was built in October, 1946 and deliv­ ered to North Carolina . In September , 1947, it suffered major damage in an accident with only 87 hours on the air­ craft. It next flew in 1958 as a Reed Conversion , Clip Wing Cub , having been dormant for 11 years . In 1965 , a


Continental C-85 FHJ fuel injected

gine was installed with inverted fuel and


Jogging along at 1500 feet, the Clip Wing Cub makes a beautiful sight as Henry and Chuck pull ahead of the photo plane. Very nice restoration work shows all over.

the photo plane. Very nice restoration work shows all over. Cleverly built mount for a recording

Cleverly built mount for a recording three-needle "G" meter used in aerobatics. Mag switch seems farther forward than a standard J-3 Cub installation.

"G" meter which is suspended from the

two overhead tubes . This allows the in­

strument panel to remain

The wings, which are 7 feet shorter than a standard Cub - about the same as a Vagabond or Clipper - were co­ vered and rib-stitched using the "hid­ den" method. The knots are pulled below the surface and the inter-knot cord is run under the fabric . The results are pure beauty! Henry says that Chuck could stitch a rib faster than he could, because of his nimble fingers! All ribs were stitched on 1-1 /2" spacing for aer­ obatic capability. The tail feathers were cleaned and primed before being covered in Ceco­ nite and carefully rib stitched at close intervals, again for aerobatic work. The only parts missing on the entire plane were the tail brace wires and these were promptly replaced by a new set of stainless steel wires .

"originaL "

lAC contests . Incidentally, the


Henry and Chuck kneel In front of their J-3 Clip Wing Cub. New, all-metal cowling was purchased from Unlvalr and Installed to give that "new look".

Although the price of Cub brakes and tires has increased beyond all rhyme and reason , Henry elected to stay with the original - and pay the price' He readily admits they are not the world's

greatest brakes , but thankfully, on a Cub, they aren 't that necessary. A pair of Wag Aero fiberglass wheel pants were added to dress up the aircraft and

keep the bottom of the wings clean .

New upholstery was done by the Up­ holstery Shop at Flying Cloud Field in

Eden Prairie and was one of the few


al ­

jobs farmed out by Henry . The manship is absolutely first class

beit a bit spendy. While this was being done, the propeller was being over­ hauled at Maxwell Prop Shop and Kenny Maxwell did a fine job on the 71

x 42 mirror finish prop . The engine was installed as received as it had been overhauled according to


the previous owner . However, oil con ­ sumption is running a bit high , so Henry expects to go through it th is com ing

which is plenty long in Min­

nesota' Although an honest effort was made to have the Clip Wing at Oshkosh '85 , it didn't fly until late August of that year . Final inspection was done by Wade Lowry (EAA 138970, A.C 6253) of Lakeville, Minnesota who signed off the beautiful yellow Cub that had absorbed nearly three years of work by Henry and his son . The restored Cub turned out to be an excellent flyer and with the climb prop

on the Continental C-85 , it really gets

off quick and climbs like a homesick

angel. Henry admits it is

not a "wild "

winter -

aerobatic mount, but is a good aero­ batic trainer. Many Clip Wing Cubs have won "Sportsman " Class awards at

fuel tank has a sealed cap on it for aer­ obatic work with a vent tube that runs from the top of the fuel tank to the lower gear leg and vents by the wheel. This allows breathing in all attitudes . Fuel level is monitored on a sight gage on the tank itself . When going to air shows , a standard J-3 gas cap with the cork

and wire gauge is put on for show . When purchased , the Clip Wing had

short , straight exhaust stacks that were unbelievably loud - both in the air and

on the ground . Scouting high

Henry finally located a set of standard exhaust pipes at American Aviation in Eden Prairie which he promptly pur­ chased from owner Don Stuber. Henry is quite vociferous in his praise of John and Don Stuber, who have been a part of the aviation scene in Minnesota for

nearly 50 years' (Henry calls them the "Good Guys .") The new exhaust system really quieted things down and even the neighbors at the Sky Park approve! With Chuck turning 17 and a senior in high school the hard work and sore muscles are starting to payoff as he has soloed the Clip Wing and is building time towards his private license. Now

the true purpose of the Cub is coming forth . Henry feels this is "the only way

to fly " (Western Airlines motto) and is

pleased that Chuck is learning how to fly from scratch - in a tail dragger with­

out an electrical system' And besides after flying a 8-727 air­ liner all day, it is most relaxing to come home and fly the Clip Wing Cub around the patch - throwing in a few rolls and loops for spice! Perhaps this winter the father and son combination will be able to put a pair of skis on the Cub and really have some fun . That's what Cubs are all about!? •

and low ,

With the shimmering waters of Lake Winnebago for a background, we get an almost head on view of the Clip Wing Cub.

18 NOVEMBER 1986


by E.

E. "Buck " Hilbert


came to the crank assembly . Here the crankshafts were being fitted with

series aircraft engine production was terminated shortly after WW II with a


21 . AC



matched sets of finished rods. This was

production run of 15.842

engines .

Many. many happy hours with a Con­ tinental engine providing the thrust. fos­ tered a desire to see the place where they were made at that time . The oppor­ tunity presented itself one day several years ago while my wife Dorothy and I were driving through Muskegon. Michi­ gan on our way around Lake Michigan . A preliminary call to the factory in­ sured a welcome. G . E. "Bud" Hanson introduced himself and after the usual visitor registration and safety briefing the tour began. Bud explained that his real job was Coordinator of Sales to Beech Aircraft and though he wasn 't an aircraft pow­ erplant mechanic he knew his way


to watch . The meticulous hand

Next the E-185 series took over the

work and precise manner of assured fit­ ting fascinated Dorothy. And how clean everything was l

from the fort ies to date of these had been built .

By the end of 1966. Continental Motors Corporation had manufactured 202,645 engines of various types. 1966 produc­ tion was 13,200 aircraft engines - about 65% of the total piston engine production for that year. An interesting sidelight was FAA statistics showing over 90 .000 Conti­ nentals flying at that time . This spoke well for the reliability of Continental en­ gines, with nearly 45% of the total pro ­ duction still flying . ConSidering the early

great names in aviation that predomi ­

nate today, and a major reason for their success is evident ­ the dependability of the Continental engine. My pre-airline logbooks show a little more than 2,500 hours in aircraft pow­ ered by Continentals . Most of this is working time, like crop-dusting and stu­ dent instruction. This took place under all sorts of conditions. both IFR and VFR . I very clearly recall the one forced landing I had when a Continental A-65 quit. It was a newly overhauled engine and it stopped during a spin demonstra­ tion for a student. The idle had been set too low and after a successful landing it started on the 2nd pull. It sure wasn't the engine's fault. I'd just neglected to check the idle RPM with the carburetor heat on . There is Army Aviation time in the books too . The few hundred hours of Army aviating was all trouble free, and when the L-16 was replaced by the L-19 that Continental 0-470 put us Army av­ iators in a real Cadillac. In Korea, that engine pulled me over many a tight ob­ stacle, hauled many a stretcher case. supplied numerous ground bound units and still passed Saturday inspection. And those engines continued working on into Vietnam .

limelight and some 10 .000

Next station.

There they were ' The

finished engines l This was final assem­ bly. Look at all those beautiful engines and all that gleaming hardware I And what a variety of engine types . Almost all the product line was in view . 0-200s through the latest 10-520s. Here they were receiving their magnetos, carburetors , alternators. fuel

injectors , ignition harness , whatever it took to complete the engine . Oh how I wanted to take home a sample , like maybe an 0-470 for a little project I just

around the plant

he then proved it.

thought up . I'm sure

Bud Hanson must

First was the "case" line. Here rough castings become finished matched halves of an engine crankcase - the milling. boring and machine finishing all

have seen the gleam in my eye . He hus­ tled us out of the area down to his office . Here we had a discussion about the

closely monitored by precision machinists. A casting porosity test was accomplished there. too. The matched

parts are pressure tested under water. It was there . too. that the two halves were permanently mated. Next was the accessory case line. The same precise care was evident here as the various drive pads for the accessories were machined and the castings shaped into discernible parts of an engine . The gears. camshafts. drives and shafts were all being manufactured right next door in the machine shop. They

production and destination of the vari­ ous engines . Production rate was 45 to

60 engines a day, dependent on types . with a peak production of 2190 reached one month . Of the new engine de­ liveries Cessna was the largest cus­ tomer with 600 to 700 deliveries per month. Beech was second. taking 150 to 180 per month. Where was the remanufacturing en­ gine department? Mobile, Alabama was Bud's reply . Whatever happened to the A-65 and the C-85? Well, we've gone over to the 0-200 , but we still build one to fill an occasional order for a new one , but frankly the expense to set up a one­ engine production is a little hard on the cusotmer's pocket book. Some of the early history of the Con­ tinental Motors Corporation was the next subject. The A-40 started it all. There were 2,638 of the A-40s produc­ ed . Production began in July 1933. Por­ terfield was the first aircraft manufac­ turer to purchase them, followed by Taylor, the predecessor of Piper. The A-40 was the line until February of 1939 when the A-65 was put into pro­ duction. The records here indicated 51,176 A-65s produced to date . The recollection of the early A-70 which developed into the R-670 was a little hazy . The A-70 was lost in the his­ torical files. The R-670 and W-670

took great pride in the fact that the entire engine was manufactured right there in Muskegon - not just assembled from

shipments of

sub-assemblies . We saw

blanks being cut and made into gears. crankshafts being ground . bearings being fitted , and the polished, carefully wrapped pieces being racked for trans­

port to final assembly. About this time the realization began

to dawn. What a precise product

this is .

Next time you 're tempted to cuss that engine 'cause it's loaded up and won 't start , or cause the mag won't check. just give a thought to all the many hours it did run trouble free . Properly fed and cared for, these Continentals will be here to show our astronauts ' grandchil­

How clean and well organized the

facilities are. How skilled the workmen with such high morale. The reliability started back there where we came in


door . Their pride in a superior


uct was evident in each individual piece

that made up those engines . Next we


some fun flying . •


The following is a listing of new members who have joined the EAA Antique Classic Division (through July 28 1986) . We are honored to welcome them into the organization whose members ' common interest is vintage aircraft . Succeeding issues of THE VINTAGE AIRPLANE will contain additional li stings of new members .

Barker, John D.

Culbertson Jr., Edward

Osterberg, Bruce

Thompson, Lewis E.

Heanor . Derby. England

Gradyville. Pennsylvania

Niagara. Wisconsin

Thornton . IllinOIS

Dyko, Lola Marlboro. Massachusetts

Ferguson, Michael D. Helena . Montana

Moore, Bill Raymondville. Missouri

Fobes, William E. Madison . Wisconsin

Murphy, Patrick J. Jasper. Georgia

Hansen, Carl I. Melvin Vi ll age . New


Kettles, Donald lansing . Michigan

Sohl, Kevin Fargo. North Dakota

Dyer, Timothy J.

Johnson, Gary

Stange, Robert

Cataline, George P.

Wadesville. Indiana

Manawa. WisconSin

Chicago . Illinois

Escondido. California

Kepner Jr., Paul R.

Toncray, Steve

Datry, Eric Lee

Owings, J. Randall

Garland , Texas

Chicago, Illinois

Atlanta. Georgia

Warrensburg. IllinOIS

Davis, William T. long Beach. California

Rehrig, Norman W. Andreas. Pennsylvania

Crawford, William D. Monticello, Kentucky

Williams, Dick Bertram , Texas

Monaghan, Patrick W. Baltimore. Maryland

Wert, James A. McClure. Pennsylvania

Roland, Ronald W. Dallas. Texas

Nokes, Robert K. Highland, Indiana

Idell, Karl S. Halifax, Pennsylvania

Finiello Jr., John G. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Olson , David E. WaShington. Pennsylvania

McGrew, James C. APO , New York, New York

Riley, Burhl E. Youngwood, Pennsylvania

MacFarlane, Ian Ponteland, North England

Tanner, Claude H. Boise, Idaho

Binford, Chris R. McCall , Idaho


Bakke, Stephen Kalispell . Montana

Fillingim, Daniel C. Nashua, New Hampshire

Hayward, Ken lynnwood , Washington

Bendig, John B. Waterford . Pennsylvania

Graves, Kenneth B.

Glynn, Francis

Steen Jr., William H.

Stanley, Oswald


Fayetteville, New York

Crofton, Maryland

Shreveport, lou isiana

laht i, Fin land

StrUCk, Larry

Lemcke, Robert H.

Tomaine, James J.

Smith , Frederick M.

Byron. California

Middletown, Wisconsin

Endicott, New York

lindenhurst , New


Petersen, Wayne S.

Kolb, Norman

Rilling, Robert L.

Kuntz, Reinhart, O.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Cherokee. Iowa

Palmdale, California

lilburn. Georgia

Lawler, Glenn

Kolb, Homer

Thorsen, Gunvald B.

Wamego III, William O.

Auburn, Alabama

Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

Whittier, California

Glenpool. Oklahoma

Russo, Frank

Landry, Michael J.

Griffin, Terry R.

Stahl, Bradley


la Grange, Illinois

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Bangor. Maine

Tu lsa.


Woodford, John Madison , Wisconsin

Starke, Richard A. Burlington , North Dakota

Mrazek, Jerry Arlington . Texas

Mash, Donald E. Paisley , Florida


Pierson, Roger O.

Mayhall, James

Renner Jr., Robert L.

McCombs, Evan

Bloomington , Minnesota

Jerseyville, Illinois

New Midway, Maryland

Peyton , Colorado

Singrey, Harold E.

Myers, Dean

RossignOl, Fred

Rogers, Edward W.

Jonestown, Pennsylvania

Crescent, Oklahoma

Tallevast. Florida

Aurora . Illinois

Newberg, Wayne South Bend , Indiana

Damasauskas, Lucille Chicago, Illinois

Vance, Elliott T. Setauket Island, New York

Tuppers, Susan W. laramie . Wyom ing

Sweaney, James W.

Harter, Mark


Slatkin, Andrew Brett

Kent. Washington

Belleville, Illinois

Omaha, Nebraska

los Angeles, California

Kosch, Andrew J. Fairfield, Connecticut

Heins, Pete ludlow Falls, Ohio

Anderson, Donald R. Stone Mountain , Georgia

Stzok, David F. Superior, Wiscons in

20 NOVEMBER 1986

,I ~ype ClubActivities

Compiled by Gene Chase


etc . We inad­

vertently omitted the following three Type Clubs from the annual list ing in the September, 1986 issue of THE VIN­ TAGE AIRPLANE. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have

caused .

The best laid plans

Buckeye Pietenpol Association

Frank S. Pavliga, Newsletter Editor

2800 S. Turner Road

Canfield , OH 44406

216/792-6269 (day)

216/792-6269 (eve .)

Newsletter: Quarterly Dues : $7 .50 per year

Seabee Club Int'l

Capt. Richard Sanders

4734 N. W . 49th Court

Ft. Lauderdale , FL 33319


Newsletter: Quarterly, plus phone con­ sultation Dues : $12 .00 U.S. and Canada $18.00 Elsewhere

National Stinson Club 108 Section

George and Linda Leamy

11 7 Lanford Road

Spartanburg , SC 29301


Newsletter: Quarterly Dues: $15.00 per year

-i (










The 1986 annual Convention of the International 180/185 Club held July 26­ 30, was one of the best ever. It was held in Northern Michigan at the Boyne Mt. Lodge within walking distance of Boyne Mt. Airport near Boyne Falls. Over 60 land planes attended plus four float planes utilizing facilities on Lake Charlevoix, three miles from the lodge. Fly-outs were made to Washington Island, Mackinac Island and Sault Ste. Marie.

On July 31 most of the members pro­ ceeded to the EAA Convention at Osh­ kosh , Wisconsin. The event was so suc­ cessful that it will probably be a club get-together every year . It was hosted by midwest director of the International

180.185 Club , John Hintermeister of

Muscatine, Iowa. For information on the International

contact the presi­

dent, C. E. Bombardier, 4539 N. 49th

Avenue, Phoenix , Arizona 85031.


180 / 185 Club . Inc


Phoenix , Arizona 85031. 846-6236. 180 / 185 Club . Inc 602 TWIN BONANZA ASSOCIATION The


The First Annual Twin Bonanza As­ sociation Convention will be held at Jekyll Island, Georgia on May 22-23 ,

1987. Headquartered at the Hilton Inn, a variety of events will include a techni­ cal seminar for those interested in the operation and maintenance of their air­

include so­

cial activities , golfing and island touring . The Twin Bonanza Association , now

one year old, is open to all persons in­ terested in joining together to share ex­ periences and assist in documenting this classic aircraft so that it takes its rightful place in aviation history . For further information contact Mr. Richard I. Ward, Twin Bonanza Associ­ ation , 19684 Lakeshore Drive, Three Rivers, M149093, phone 616 /279-2540 .

craft . The program will also

2 7 9 - 2 5 4 0 . craft . The program will also AMERICAN


The Board of Directors of the Amer­ ican Bonanza Society at the Society 's Annual Convention in Boston, MA an­ nounced its position on the FAAITSC Phase I Study of the V-Tail Bonanza. The FAA Report stated "The study identified no immediate safety con­

cerns, provided the airplane is operated within the approved flight envelope ." Following this conclusion. however, the FAA made three recommendations for further action that the ABS Board felt needed immediate response:

First that Phase II of the study deter­ mine definitively the tail failure mechanisms , establish the structural strength of the tail. and the aerodynamic loads on the tail by flight , static and wind tunnel tests. These tests began in March of 1986, with the wind tunnel tests completed in June , with flight testing to follow . Tests continue at this date with the full support of the ABS Board , the FAA and Beechcraft. Second the FAA Small Airplane Em­ pennage FAAllndustry Loads Working Group is currently reviewing the Airwor­ thiness Standards requirements for the V-Tail configuration , again with the full support of the Board . And third, the ABS Board announced that it is vigorously pursuing the final recommendation of the FAA report by upgrading and expanding its already highly acclaimed Bonanza Pilot Profi­ ciency Program to include video taped Pilot Proficiency seminars , as well as an expanded schedule of regionally conducted flight seminars and the addi­ tion of an advanced flight seminar for instrument flight proficiency. In so doing , the Board reemphasized its goal is the safety of its members as well as all Bonanza flyers, and it be­ lieves that this goal is best met by its full support of the results of the FAA study and by the participation of all Bonanza pilots in a pilot training pro­ gram designed specifically to enhance their ability to safely operate high per­ formance aircraft. For information on the American Bonanza Society, contact Cliff R. Sones, Administrator, Mid-Continent Airport , P.O . Box 12888, Wichita , KS

67277, phone 316/945-6913 .

Administrator, Mid-Continent Airport , P.O . Box 12888, Wichita , KS 67277, phone 316/945-6913 . VINTAGE
A PLANf ~on £V£ny PUflPOSf
£V£ny PUflPOSf

by Gene Chase

A PLANf ~on £V£ny PUflPOSf by Gene Chase Photo by Carl Schuppel Bob Winchester joins up

Photo by Carl Schuppel

Bob Winchester joins up on the photo plane in his 1928 Travel Air E4000 over Lake Winnebago near Oshkosh. It was named "Silver

Age Champion " at Oshkosh '86.

(Photos by the author except as noted)

As a "kid on the airport fence " while

growing up in Michigan , Bob Winches­ ter (EAA 18878, AlC 9321) , R.R. 2, Box

331 -A,

trigued with airplanes and especially a Travel Air biplane . At that young age he developed a fondness for the aircraft now considered antique and those feel ­ ings never waned , nor did he ever

forget that Travel Air he watched fly from the local airport. Over the years Bob has owned quite a variety of airplanes, mostly taildrag­ gers, including a 1934 Cessna Airmas­ ter and a Pitts Special he built in the

·60s and sold just last year. But visions of that long-ago Travel Air kept reap­ pearing and in 1984 he began to ear­

Rez ich

brothers (well-known Travel Air ex­ perts) told him of one that was available

Charlevoix , MI 49720 was in­

nestly look for one . One of the

, MI 49720 was in­ nestly look for one . One of the Most of the

Most of the instruments are the originals installed at the factory - pad and pencil are handy navigation aids.

all antique. Note­

in Columbia, California . The owner had

lost his medical and decided to sel l. The Travel Air had been restored by well-known Joe Pfeifer in 1972 and was powered with a 220 hp Continental W­ 670 swinging a ground adjustable Hamilton Standard propeller. A deal was consumated and Bob Winchester became the proud owner of NC9048 in May of this year .

In visiting with Bob during Oshkosh '86 he hadn 't had a chance to research

all the plane 's history but

it was originally built as a Model W4000

with a 110 hp Warner engine and de liv­ ered to its first owner in Los Angeles in

December, 1928. NC9048 was used as

a duster for part of its career and con­

verted back to a two-holer by a Mr. Lar­ son in the 1960s. Unfortunately Bob doesn't have all the original logs for the plane but he learned some more of the Travel Air's previous history at Oshkosh '86 from a man who had more than a passing in­ terest in NC9048 . Boardman C. Reed (EAA 85470, AlC 1069) from Brownsville, California informed Bob that he flew this same plane in 1936 when it had a 225 hp Wright J-5 for power. NC9048 is currently registered as a model E4000 and is finished in the col­ ors as described in a factory brochure:

Travel Air Blue and International Orange. The color scheme is authentic but Bob is not posit ive the blue is the exact shade. The covering is Grade A cotton with nitrate dope and it's holding up well after 14 years . The plane has always been hangared during these years, including each night during Bob's flight in it from California to Michigan . Its first nights out-of-doors since Bob owned it were those at Oshkosh '86 , where it was named "Silver Age Cham­ pion ." This is an award for antiques built during the 1928-1932 period. All the instruments (seven total) are not only antique, but most are the fac­ tory-installed originals.

he does know

(L-R) Boardman C. Reed and Bob Winchester. Mr. Reed flew this same Travel Air in 1936 when it was powered by a Wright JS. The two had much to talk about at Oshkosh


Left side of rear cockpit showing trim lever below throttle. Cockpit is plenty wide enough for neat radio installation beside pilOt's seat.

Rear cockpit has two throttles - this is the one on the right. Typical fuselage construction is visible here with welded steel tubes forward and wire bracing aft of the rear cockpit instrument panel.

Travel Air NC9048, SIN 849, is registered as a model E4000 with its 220 hp

Travel Air NC9048, SIN 849, is registered as a model E4000 with its 220 hp Continental. Colors are Travel Air Blue fuselage with International Orange wings and tail.

An unusual sight is the installation of two throttles in the rear cockpit - one on each side . Bob said that many Travel Air enthusiasts aren't aware this was standard on the model 4000s . The front pit has a throttle on the left side only . Typically, the front cockpit has no in­ struments or brakes - only stick and rudder controls. Bob loves the nostalgic feeling he ex­ periences while flying NC9048. It's very light on the controls, fully predictable with gentle stall characteristics, and

he 's pleased that it is reasonably fast. At 1775 rpm it indicates 115 mph . He recently checked the speed while flying with another plane so feels the air speed indicator is reasonably accurate . Bob's wife has a private license and

him in the Travel Air .

enjoys flying with

She hasn 't checked out in it yet but eventually she will. Every1ime Bob flies NC9048 he realizes why they were so popular in their day (and still are) . Even the first models powered with the 90 hp Curtiss

OX-5 engines were considered by

many to be the "best of the OX-5 pow­ ered aircraft ." While he was looking for

a Travel Air , everyone he talked with

who had flown them had nothing but kind words for the handsome old bip­ lanes. Expecting the most when he made his first flight in a Travel Air, he was still pleasantly surprised that a plane could

be so delightful to fly . And when pow­ ered with a round engine, "They really let you know you 're flying ." .

"They really let you know you 're flying ." . (Continued from Page 5) tions of

(Continued from Page 5)

tions of over 40 new civil aircraft . Do you recognize some of these names? American Ensign ; Bunyard Sportsman, Eschelman Wing let; Hockaday Comet; Ross Sportplane? The competition for the new personal plane market was demonstrated in the full-page ads by the manufacturers :

PIPER - "New 1947 Piper Cub Super

Cruiser -

to 33% more 'horses"'; AERONCA ­

"Anybody can fly Aeronca "; GLOBE ­

making aviation his­

tory in the personal plane field "; STIN­

"The Swift 125


50% more people

SON - "The proved plane - improved for '47. " Gradually the contents of SKYWA YS changed . Less and less attention was given to light aircraft and more to jets

24 NOVEMBER 1986

and executive aircraft. The last year of pilot reports for light aircraft was 1950. The year of 1951 saw pilot reports on business aircraft such as the Twin­ Bonanza, the Aero Commander and the DH Dove . The September 1951 issue saw two new columns added to the contents . These were : "Skyways for Business ", a section on air operations for corporate aircraft ; and "Aircraft for Business ."


it added the subtitle, "Flight Operations"

to its masthead . In the anniversary's editorial , the founder, J. Fred Henry, stated that SKYWA YS "Dedicates itself to specialization in one of the most important branches of aviation - Flight Operations ." He also said that the deci­

On the magazine 's 10th

sion was made after two years of study

of the trends in air progress.

The new slant was reflected in arti­ cles such as a pilot report on the Martin 4-0-4 ; an article on TV for Corporate

planes ; and one on the maintenance of the DC-3. The September 1956 issue saw the

name change to SKYWAYS FOR BUS­

INESS. At this time it became the offi­ cial publication of the National Business Aircraft Association . From then to its last issue in June 1963 SKYWA YS be­ came a rather thin newsletter of narrow interest to the business aviation com­ munity. The EAA Aviation Foundation's Boe­ ing Aeronautical Library has a nearly complete set of SKYWA YS.

Compiled by Gene Chase Sheet Metal Tools Of interest to restorers of antique and classic

Compiled by Gene Chase

Sheet Metal Tools

Of interest to restorers of antique and classic aircraft are two new products manufactured by U.S. Industria l Tool & Supply Company . Added to its line of sheet metal tools is a new model bench type metal shrinker and stretcher. Unlike other bench model shrinker and stretchers, the TP-395 comes with

a large frame . It has a 8" throat depth which allows larger sheets of metal to be formed. It is manually operated with a simple lever arm and is easily mounted to a bench or stand .

the increased demand ,

U.S. Industrial Tool & Supply Company

is now manufacturing an air operated

sheet metal planishing hammer that was discontinued by another manufac­ turer approximately 20 years ago. This unit can be used as a portable tool or a floor model. It removes ir­ regularities in a metal surface by con­ tinuous hammering of the sheet be­

tween a slot and moving head . It can also form various shapes in metal. Using an air regulator , a greater flow

of air will allow it to hammer harder. The

pedestal model stands 46". Both mod­

els have a 18" throat depth and are ac­ tuated by a simple mechanical pedal. Complete literature is available from U.S. Industrial Tool & Supply Company, 15143 Cleat Street , Plymouth , MI 48170, phone 1-800-521-7394. Outside

of the U.S.

Because of

phone 313 /455-3388 .

···r Floor model planishing hammer. Portable planishing hammer.
Floor model planishing hammer.
Portable planishing hammer.

New bench type metal shrinker and stretcher.

Piper PA-18 Fabrication and Repair

Among the many items they fabricate for PA-18s are :

D65-21) maintains a complete shop for 1) Complete tail post section from the

J. E. Soares, Inc. (FAA Repair Station

the repair and fabrication of aircraft tube

jack screw tower aft , ready to weld to

assemblies . They specialize in the fab­


frame .

rication and repair of Piper PA-18 fuse­


Complete ta il section from the bag­

lages in their two precision fixtures. gage compartment aft , including the tur­

tle deck arch assemblies. 3) Set of six turtle deck arches. 4) Elevator hinges with brass bush­ ings. 5) Set of five elevator and rudder ribs. Phone or write : J . E. Soares, Inc., 7093 Dry Creek Road, Belgrade , Mon­

8 ' shear,

Whitney 315 duplicator punch

Heath magnetic panagraphic machine, three wire feed welders and one tig wei­ der. They can do your welding whether it

be ox-acetylene, mig or tig . tana 59714 , 406 /388-6069 .•

Their shop equipment includes 1/4" x



180 ton



Letters To Editor

Letters To Editor Dear Gene. This refers to your September back cover picture of the Alexander

Dear Gene.

This refers to your September back cover picture of the Alexander Eaglerock . It is in­ deed a small world . That very aircraft is most likely the one that I first flew in . I have used

that same picture in lectures for years . I do

not know who the pilot is.

The Union Oil Company of California was one of the first to have a business fleet, mostly Travel Airs and Eaglerocks , with OX­ 5s, Klnners and Wright J-5s . They did aerial photography and surveying for oil and ferried company executives. Carl lienesch, a pet­ roleum chemist associate of my father's who

in West Coast aviation , took

was well known

me on that first ride out of Monrovia Airport

on Thanksgiving Day , 1927, as is my best recollection . That depletes my memory . Llenesch told the story that I was so thrilled I fell asleep in the front cockpit. It is not easy to be "vintage ." I have been told that the Union Oil Com­

a company aviation history . I

am sure that they can give you details on their fleet and that particular airplane.

pany is writing

Thanks for a pleasant memory .


A. Scot1 Crossfield (EAA 161363) 12100 Thoroughbred Road Herndon , Virginia 22071

ship numbers is the opportunity the Type

Club HQ gives us to bet1er serve our existing members . Nothing beats working out prob­ lems and answering questions face to face . 1986 was an extremely productive year in

this regard . We can't imagine

for a member with a problem to find a solu­ tion . With all the expertise on hand at Osh­ kosh , problems just don't stand a chance . We want to thank you again for the great job you and the Antique/Classic Division are doing . We plan to be back in Type Club HQ in 1987. See you there .

a better forum

All the best,

Julie and Joe Dickey (EAA 62186, NC 4169) The Aeronca Aviators Club 511 Terrace Lake Road Columbus, IN 47201

Dear Gene ,

We just got our copy of the September 1986 issue of THE VINTAGE AIRPLANE with the Aristocrat on the cover . Many thanks for the article . Enclosed is a more recent photo now that the ring cowl is in place . We think it really makes the airplane . The Aristocrat is home safe in the hangar. Franny Rourke delivered it on August 1, the day the enclosed photo was taken. Dad and I have both flown it and we like it. We 're still working out the little bugs, but hope to fly it to the Tulsa Fly-In at Tahlequah, Oklahoma (October 3-5) . With the 220 Continental it cruises at 110 mph at 1800 rpm . I haven 't found any1hing in its class that will outclimb it! It's very stable and flies a lot like other cabin monoplanes of that era .

Keep the antiques flying ,

Brent Taylor Executive Director Antique Airplane Association Rt . 2 , Box 172 Ottumwa , IA 52501

Dear Butch .

Our $25 .00 worth of the security for the Type Club Headquarters is enclosed. Thanks for the service. We are happy to pay our share . Be sure to let us know if you need more . As soon as the AERONCA AV­ IATORS CLUB treasury recovers from the summer's expenses, another check will be forthcoming as a contribution to help oHset expenses for the tent . TYPE CLUB HEADQUARTERS has quickly become a valuable asset to the EAA Convention . The word is get1ing around that information is to be had there . This year we found ourselves fielding all sorts of questions about subjects other than Aeroncas , and were happy to do so. Most of us who operate type clubs have varied experience with other aspects of the Convention and with sport avi ­ ation . We enjoyed assisting all EAAers in any way we could . Our own members have come to expect to find us at Type Club Headquarters , and very much appreciate the facility . We , of course , make sure they understand it is there as a result of the eHorts of the Antiquel Classic Division of the EAA, and strongly suggest they say thanks by becoming mem­ bers of the Division . Thanks to Type Club HQ. our membership

increased by 30-plus during the week. We also passed out over a hundred membership packets, some of which are now being mailed in. I would guess our participation in 1986 will produce over 60 new members for the Aeronca Aviators Club. Such numbers may not be significant by EAA national stan­ dards, but to a type club 60 new members are very significant indeed . But of greater importance than member­

Brent is the son of Robert L. Taylor (EAA 839, AlC 330) , Founder and President of the Antique Airplane Association with head­

quarters at Antique Airfield, located between

Blakesburg and Ottumwa. Iowa


Association with head­ quarters at Antique Airfield, located between Blakesburg and Ottumwa. Iowa G.R.C. 26 NOVEMBER
This uncaptioned photo is one from a collection of World War Two photos recently donated

This uncaptioned photo is one from a collection of World War Two photos recently donated to the EAA Photo Archives. It shows a badly damaged Beech Staggerwing somewhere in the Pacific Theater according to the background. Do any readers have knowledge of the incident? The Air Force serial number of the C-47 is 293245. Eight Gis can be seen pushing the big Douglas while four others watch.

can be seen pushing the big Douglas while four others watch. CALENDAR OF EVENTS MARCH 15-21


MARCH 15-21 -


Annual Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly·ln. Contact: Bonnie Higbie . P. O. Box 6750 . Lakeland. FL 33807 .


MA Y 22-23 -


First Annual TWin Bonanza Association Con· vention with headquarters at the Hilton Inn Technical seminars and social activities . Con­

tact : Richard I. Ward. 19684 Lakeshore Drive . Thr ee Rivers . MI 49093 . 616279-2540 .


Annual Convention of the International Cessna

170 Association at Montgomery Field . Primary

the new Holiday Inn on the airport .

Contact: Duane and Prieta Shockey. 714 /278­

motel is


JUl Y 24-26








Fly-In .

Contact : Ray Pahls. 454 South Summitown . Wichita . KS 67209 .


- World's Greatest AViation Event. Experi ­

mental Aircraft AssoclallOn International Fly-In and Sport AViation Exhibit ion . Contact : John Burton . EAA Headquarters. Willman Airfield .

Oshkosh . WI 54903-3086 . 414426-4800 . •


. WI 54903-3086 . 414426-4800 . • -~VlNTAGE SEAPLANES~-- Photo by Norm Petersen Floating gently in

Photo by Norm Petersen

Floating gently in the water at the Brennand Seaplane Base on Lake Winnebago, Oshkosh, Wisconsin during the 1986 EAA Convention is a 1942 Aeronca 65-CA "Chief" N36917, SIN 18102, mounted on EDO 1320 floats. This 65hp pre-ware Chief is flown by Weldon (Willie) Ropp (EAA 12331) of Rt. 1, Box 324R, Delray Beach, FL 33446. Note small auxiliary fins on top of stabilizer.

Where The Sellers and Buyers Meet 25C per word, 20 word minimum. Send your ed

Where The Sellers and Buyers Meet

25C per word, 20 word minimum. Send your ed to

The Vlnlege Tredef, Wlttmen Airfield

Oahkoeh, WI 54903-2591 .


StlnllOn LS-E, N5624V. Partia lly restored . Parts .

complete . Two engines . Fuselage and


controls finished . Hard work done. N. Howell, 2t 31

317·5646 or 805/488·9353 . $6500 .

Rare 1948 Emigh Trojan , 1640 n . C90, 460 SMOH . Recent annual. $11 ,900 or $12 .500 wIKX · 170A KT·78, etc . Excellent. 503/838-1292 . (1·3)


POBER PIXIE - VW powered parasol - unlimited in low-cost pleasure flying . Big, roomy cockpit for the over six foot pilot. VW power insures hard to beat 3'/2 gph at cruise setting . 15 large instruction sheets. Plans - $60.00 . Info Pack - $5.00. Send check or money order to : ACRO SPORT, INC., Box 462, Hales Corners, W153130 . 414/529-2609 .

ACRO SPORT - Single place biplane capable of unlimited aerobatics . 23 sheets of clear, easy to follow plans includes nearly 100 isometrical draw­ ings, photos and exploded views. Complete parts and materials list. Full size wing drawings. Plans

plUS 139 page Builder's Manual - $60 .00 . Info Pack - $5 .00 . Super Acro Sport Wing Drawing ­ $15.00. The Technique of Aircraft Building ­ $10.00 plus $2.00 postage. Send check or money order to : ACRO SPORT, INC., Box 462, Hales Corners , WI 53130 . 414 /529·2609 .

ACRO II - The new 2·place aerobatic trainer and sport biplane. 20 pages of easy to follow , detailed plans. Complete with isometric drawings, photos, exploded views. Plans - $85.00. Info Pac ­ $5.00 . Send check or money order to : ACRO SPORT, INC., P.O. Box 462 , Hales Corners , WI

53130. 414/529-2609.



AIRPLANE (and other EAA Division publications) are available at $1 .25 per issue . Send your list of issues desired along with payment to : Back Issues , EAA·Wittman Airfield , Oshkosh , WI 54903·2591 .

Back issues of THE VINTAGE

FUEL CELLS - TOP QUALITY - Custom made bladder-type fuel tanks and auxiliary cells, any

for Warbirds, Experimental , Vin·

tage , Sport and Acrobatic aircraft. Lightweight , crashworthy, baHled and collapsible for installation. Typical delivery 2·3 weeks. Call or write for details :

shape or capacity

1-800-526-5330, Aero Tec labs, Inc. (ATl) , Spear Road Industrial Park , Ramsey, NJ 07446 . (C5 /87)


CONTINENTAL A-40-4 Complete, Engine $635.00. Also Taylorcraft 146 Wing Parts; OX-5 Curtiss Engine Piston Rod Assemblies $75.00 set. OPALACK, 1138 Industrial , Pottstown, PA 19464.



Wanted - 1940 T-craft front lift strut needed to complete antique rebuild . Dick Ellis, Bozeman, MT,

406/586-5419. (11-2)

Wanted - Operation and Construction plans for 1927 Buhl Airster, two-cockpit biplane, Model CA­ 3A, Wright J-5 motor. George W. Polhemus , P.O . Box 1208, Pembroke , North Carolina 28372. (3 /87)


Send check or money order with copy to Vintage Trader - EAA , Wittman Airfield, Oshkosh , WI 54903-3086.

Total Words

Total $,

Number of Issues to Run




28 NOVEMBER 1986




Membership in the Experimental Aircraft Association. Inc. is $30.00 for one year. including 12 issues of Sport Aviation. Junior Membership (under 19 years of age) is available at $18.00 annually. Family Member· ship is available for an additional $10.00 annually.


EAA Member - $18.00. Includes one year membership in EAA An­ tique-Classic Division. 12 monthly issues of The Vintage Airplane and membership card. Applicant must be a current EAA member and must give EAA membership number.

Non-EAA Member - $28.00. In­ cludes one year membership in the EAA Antique-Classic Division. 12 monthly issues of The Vintage Air­ plane, one year membership in the EAA and separate membership cards. Sport Aviation not included.


Membership in the International Aerobatic Club, Inc. is $25.00 an­ nually which includes 12 issues of Sport Aerobatics. All lAC members are required to be members of EAA .


Membership in the Warbirds of America, Inc. is $25.00 per year, which includes a subscription to Warblrds. Warbird members are required to be members of EAA.


EAA membership and Light Plane World magazine is available for $25.00 per year (Sport Aviation not included). Current EAA members may receive Light Plane World for $15. 00 peryear.